Public Papers - 1989
White House Statement on the Anniversary of the Signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty With the Soviet Union
One year ago today, on June 1, 1988, the President of the United States and the President of the Soviet Union exchanged the instruments of ratification bringing into force the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, the first in history to bring about actual reductions in nuclear arsenals.
The goal of the INF treaty -- the complete elimination of INF missile systems under conditions of strict verification -- is being accomplished. Since the summer of 1988, when eliminations began with the destruction of a Soviet SS - 20 at Kapustin Yar and an American Pershing II at Longhorn, Texas, both sides have continued to eliminate INF missiles, launchers, and support equipment in the presence of inspectors from the other side.
The achievement of the INF treaty was a signal victory for NATO solidarity and political resolve and a contribution to greater security for our allies. It established the long-held alliance principles of asymmetrical reductions to reach equality of forces and effective verification as essential components of arms control agreements. These principles remain keystones of our approach to arms control.
The agenda ahead is even more challenging as we move forward with NATO's conventional force proposals and the President's initiative this week for added reductions. Further, we seek stabilizing reductions in strategic arsenals and increased reliance on strategic defenses, and a truly global and effective verifiable ban on chemical weapons. We will spare no effort to achieve agreements that will reduce the risk of war and strengthen the foundations for peace.